EMBARGOED until 00:01am GMT on 11 October 2020

DISCLAIMER: This documentary image depicts the realities of the current situation. Physical distancing and the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), including masks, portrayed i

On 17 August 2020, Sebabatso Nchephe (left), 18, and her best friend, Bianca Ndlovu, 19, hone presentation preparation skills they learned during an internship at Roche Pty Ltd, a leading healthcare company, at the company’s offices in Sandton, South Africa. Sebabatso says of her internship, “I learned financial literacy, and how to prepare for the job market like building a good presentation.This helped build my confidence a lot. My time there also really encouraged me to believe I can break the poverty cycle in my life. The programme has helped change my life! If more girls were exposed to these sorts of programs, they would have bigger dreams and a hope of changing their future and making better decisions.”

Sebabatso is a positive, creative and determined young woman who hopes to help change the world – and especially the lives of the poor and vulnerable. Finishing secondary school this year, she has already applied for numerous degrees, knowing that education and opportunity will help change the course of her life. She believes strongly in standing up for the rights of others, especially girls. Sebabatso is a participant in Techno Girl, a UNICEF-supported job shadowing programme for girls from grades 9 to 11. Techno Girl strengthens girls’ learning in technical fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, commonly known as STEM), so that they have the training they need to compete for jobs supported by the digital economy in the public and private sectors. Her participation in the programme has prepared her for the workplace while encouraging her to believe in her dreams, informing her decision-making process and supporting her as she’s become a role model for positive change within her community.

“It’s a place of shattered dreams,” Sebabatso says of Ivory Park, where she lives with her family. “You’re born here, you live here, you quit school, get a boyfriend and then get pregnant. A lot of girls don’t complete school.” I

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